Direct Payment

Direct Payment is the normal way state pensions and most other benefits are now being paid.

St Albans District Council is aiming to pay Housing Benefit by direct payment, which means instead of sending a cheque in the post, your Housing Benefit will be paid directly into an account.

Why would I want to change my Housing Benefit to Direct Payment?

Housing Benefit would be paid straight into your bank account, and you would be able to access the money straight away. Payment if you rent would not be affected by any postal strikes/delays.

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Can Housing Benefit be paid to my Landlord by Direct Payment?

If you pay rent to a Housing Association, we can pay your Housing Benefit directly to them, otherwise we will normally pay your Housing Benefit directly to your bank or building society account. If this is likely to cause you difficulty, please contact the benefits section.

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How do I change my Housing Benefit to Direct Payment?

To change the way your Housing Benefit is paid to Direct Payment, you will need to send the following:

  1. The Bank/Building Society account number

  2. The Bank/Building Society sort code

  3. The full name of the account holder

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What sort of account should I have?

Housing Benefit can be paid into most types of account. Below is a chart to show the features of some different types of accounts.

QuestionCurrent AccountBasic Bank Account
Suitable for Direct Payment of Housing Benefit?35-Direct Payment (1)35-Direct Payment (1)
Can salary, other money be paid into this account?35-Direct Payment (1)35-Direct Payment (1)
Is it free to withdraw cash?35-Direct Payment (1)35-Direct Payment (1)
Can I use cash machines?35-Direct Payment (1)35-Direct Payment (1)
Can I use 'cash-back'?35-Direct Payment (1)35-Direct Payment (2)
Do I get a cheque book?35-Direct Payment (1)35-Direct Payment (2)
Can I get a balance of my account?35-Direct Payment (1)35-Direct Payment (1)
Can I pay bills by Direct Debit?35-Direct Payment (1)35-Direct Payment (1)
Can I arrange an overdraft?35-Direct Payment (1)35-Direct Payment (2)

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Date of last review: 17 September 2008